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Lyric Opera of Chicago Schedule

May 12, 2012

OPERA: The Tales of Hoffman (in French)
COMPOSER: Jacques Offenbach
If ever a man was unlucky at love, it’s Hoffmann, the wild-eyed poet who travels the world in search of the ideal woman and ends up thwarted by villains at every turn.

First, he’s smitten by Olympia — but discovers she’s nothing more than a mechanical doll. Then, he falls for Antonia, a fragile songstress who’ll die if she sings — and regrettably for him, she does both! Finally he’s seduced by Giulietta — but the treacherous courtesan casts him aside.

Impossibly beautiful music (including the famous Barcarolle) combined with flamboyant theatricality — that’s why Offenbach’s extravaganza is the perfect way to open our season.

Hoffmann: Matthew Polenzani
The Four Villains: James Morris
Olympia: Anna Christy
Antonia: Erin Wall
Giulietta: Alyson Cambridge
Nicklausse: Emily Fons
Four Servants: Rodell Rosel
Spalanzani: David Cangelosi
Crespel: Christian Van Horn

CONDUCTOR::Emmanuel Villaume
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

May 19, 2012

OPERA: Lucia di Lammermoor (in Italian)
COMPOSER: Gaetano Donizetti
In Scotland, Lucia and Edgardo are breathlessly, desperately in love. But their two clans are bitter rivals, so Lucia’s villainous brother Enrico sets out to kill his young sister’s romance. And he deploys every devious device he can muster, including lies, forgery, and finally the false revelation of Edgardo’s infidelity.

Little wonder that Lucia is mentally crushed and destroyed, driven to madness and murder before she dies of a broken heart.

Donizetti based Lucia di Lammermoor on a popular novel by Sir Walter Scott, and every minute crackles with drama. This, plus the composer’s succession of bravura vocal thrills (including the famous Mad Scene!), make for an experience you’ll remember forever.
Lucia: Susanna Phillips
Edgardo: Giuseppe Filianoti
Enrico: Brian Mulligan
Raimondo : Christian Van Horn
Arturo: René Barbera
Alisa: Emily Birsan
Normanno : Paul Scholten

CONDUCTOR: Massimo Zanetti
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

May 26, 2012

OPERA: Boris Godunov (in Russian)
COMPOSER: Modest Mussorgsky
It’s one of the most searing lyric dramas of all time, featuring arguably the greatest bass role ever created.

The magnificent Ferruccio Furlanetto is Boris, who’s haunted by the specter of the child he murdered to become Czar, surrounded by whispers and enemies, and threatened by a pretender to his throne. And not only that — his people are starving.

The score radiates all the grief and grandeur that was Czarist Russia, with thrilling music for the huge chorus. But this masterwork is extraordinary in its intimacy, too — revealing Boris as both the public and the private man, as it peels open the psyche of a tormented ruler who succumbs to his own guilty conscience.
Boris: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Shuisky: Štefan Margita
Pimen: Andrea Silvestrelli
Varlaam: Raymond Aceto
Grigori: Erik Nelson Werner
Tchelkalov: Ljubomir Puškarić
Missail: David Cangelosi

CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

June 2, 2012

OPERA: The Magic Flute (in German)
COMPOSER: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Look out for dancing bears and dinosaurs as into the enchanted forest we go! Lyric’s inspired production reflects the composer himself — seamlessly blending emotional profundity with slapstick humor that appeals to the kid in us all.

With a hapless and endearing birdcatcher as his sidekick, Prince Tamino is searching for the girl of his dreams. The mysterious Queen of the Night says her daughter’s the one — and just waiting to be rescued from the evil wizard, Sarastro. But it turns out he’s not the evil one at all!

A young couple’s journey to adulthood, the search for universal truths, Masonic rituals and religious allegory — Flute gives us much to ponder, and music that’s a wondrous joy!
Pamina: Nicole Cabell
Tamino: Charles Castronovo
Papageno : Stéphane Degout
Queen of the Night: Audrey Luna
Sarastro: Günther Groissböck
Speaker: Richard Stilwell
Monostatos: Rodell Rosel
First Lady : Elisabeth Meister

CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

June 9, 2012

OPERA: Ariadne auf Naxos (in German)
COMPOSER: Richard Strauss
Vienna’s richest man is planning an incredible party.

First — guests will enjoy a serious opera (the Prima Donna plays Ariadne, who’s ready to die on the island of Naxos because her lover’s jilted her). Then comes a ribald comedy, starring saucy Zerbinetta (who’s got a Ph.D. in flirting). And finally, there’s to be a pyrotechnic display.

But the host suddenly decides both productions must take place simultaneously so the fireworks can start promptly at nine!

The Composer’s aghast and the Prima Donna’s horrified. But watch what happens when Zerbinetta gets into the act and determines that Ariadne’s “tragedy” shouldn’t end unhappily after all!

This is Strauss à la Rosenkavalier, with sparkling, luscious music that wraps itself around a witty comedy.

Ariadne: Amber Wagner
Zerbinetta: Anna Christy
Composer: Alice Coote
Bacchus: Brandon Jovanovich
Music Master: Eike Wilm Schulte
Harlequin: Matthew Worth

CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

June 16, 2012

OPERA: Show Boat (in English)
COMPOSER: Jerome Kern
This spectacular new production marshals the choral and orchestral forces of our world-renowned company to present Show Boat in all its glory!

Created in 1927, this seminal masterpiece gave American musical theater and opera a new voice — one with powerful subject matter, astonishing musical variety and an unmistakably American atmosphere.

Moving from 1890s Mississippi to Chicago to “Roaring 20s” Broadway, Show Boat follows the lives of a company of theater folk — deeply involving us in their triumphs and sorrows, while illuminating the racial and social changes that were shaping the country.

You’ll love every character: Julie, Joe, Queenie…and especially Magnolia and Ravenal. She’s an aspiring young actress; he’s an irresistible, gambling cad who leaves her when his luck runs out. But Magnolia moves on with her life — eventually becoming a major star.

Unforgettable songs, dazzling choreography, and an epic story that moves us with its humanity — Show Boat is both great entertainment and great art.
Ravenal: Nathan Gunn
Magnolia: Ashley Brown
Julie: Alyson Cambridge
Joe: Morris Robinson
Queenie: Angela Renée Simpson
Capt. Andy: Ross Lehman
Ellie: Erika Mac
Frank: Bernie Yvon
Parthy: Cindy Gold

CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

June 23, 2012

OPERA: Rinaldo (in Italian)
COMPOSER: George Frideric Handel
With Jerusalem as the prize, General Goffredo and his chief knight Rinaldo are battling it out with King Argante. But the king’s lover and ally is the sorceress Armida — and she uses every trick in her arsenal to help win the war. Good thing Rinaldo has some supernatural reinforcements of his own!

Handel wanted to make it big in England, and he did it in spades with Rinaldo! For the first time he specified sorcery and magic in the plot — hiring an illustrious producer to bring it off, and booking a megastar for the lead.

Three hundred years later, Lyric follows suit! Fabulous David Daniels headlines this amazing new production.
Rinaldo: David Daniels
Almirena: Julia Kleiter
Armida: lza van den Heever
Argante: Luca Pisaroni
Goffredo: Sonia Prina
Eustazio: Iestyn Davies

CONDUCTOR: Harry Bicket

June 30, 2012

OPERA: Aïda (in Italian)
COMPOSER: Giuseppe Verdi
Here it is—the granddaddy of grand-opera spectacle—complete with pyramids and potentates, priestesses and dancing girls, plus armies of soldiers and slaves!

At its heart, a treacherous love triangle and a relationship that was never meant to be. Aida, the enslaved Ethiopian princess, and Radames, leader of the Egyptian army that conquered her homeland, long to be together forever. But someone else wants Radames, too—it’s Amneris, the jealous daughter of the Pharaoh himself!

Impassioned arias, surging choruses, and exhilarating orchestral music show us Verdi at the peak of his powers–masterfully balancing pomp and pageantry with a deeply moving personal tragedy.
Aïda: Sondra Radvanovsky
Radames: Marcello Giordani
Amneris: Jill Grove
Amonasro : Gordon Hawkins
Ramfis: Štefan Kocán

CONDUCTOR: Renato Palumbo
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black